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The Portable USB DAC/Amp All-In-One Thread! - Page 2

post #16 of 26

Don't know. In theory being USB class 2 it ought to be backwards compatible with USB 1.1.

I'd have to uninstall the supplied ASIO, WASAPI and DirectSound drivers to test that though and that would be inconvenient.

Never had an issue with the proprietary drivers though.

 

You could ask on the forum if it's a potential dealbreaker.

 

http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?170-TRAKTOR-Audio-Interfaces 

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hmm. Well I'm somewhat interested, but not enough to jump on anything I haven't seen many reviews on yet, or demo'd myself.

 

"Transparent" is, like everything in audio, a subjective term, and if you consider the fact that everyone's physical anatomy is a bit different, we could all easily be hearing very different things from the same source, amp, phones, etc. So it's not quite so simple as "transparent is transparent."

 

To be frank, the fact that you've forsaken high-end cans for the HD25 does not add weight to your opinion in my eyes, as I've owned the HD25 and A/B'd them with my HD650: the benefits of the HD650 are palpable to me, and in areas that matter very much for my personal listening preferences, so perhaps you and I hear differently.

 

The units you've listed also aren't exactly portable in the same sense that the Dragonfly, Microstreamer, and Explorer are; these are thumb drive-sized devices that can be used with OTG cables on phones and tablets, and are very easily pocketable; these DJ-oriented pieces you are posting are generally around 5x7x2, which is close to quadruple the volume.

 

All in all I'm not saying the items you've posted aren't quality products; more that they don't quite fit in with the kinds of units I made this thread to be about. I wouldn't say it's strictly off-topic, as they are obvious portable in some sense, and I'm sure some people would consider them as alternatives, but they're not quite what I personally had in mind when making this thread.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
 

How transparent does a DAC have to be to be audibly more transparent than transparent? You've bought music and listened to broadcast TV made on the top end units I mentioned.

 

Dunno for certain I'm afraid. Even the most expensive open back headphones became instantly redundant the day I first got a pair of active desktop monitors. My best cans now are closed back Sennheiser HD 25 1-11 (80 Ohms). Longtime studio tracking and live performance monitoring standards. Never taken the gain beyond 25% without making my ears hurt. Makes sense. The gear I mentioned is designed to be capable of monitoring in a live performance environment.  So it goes loud when required.  Very loud.

 

Can they cope with 250 Ohms cans? Most authorities think so. Check out pro reviews, e.g SoundonSound or pro forums like gearslutz for a definitive answer.


Edited by Gilly87 - 10/24/13 at 9:30am
post #18 of 26

Fair enough. Everyone has different needs and expectations. Wish you the best in your search. 

 

It's an open forum. Other people with similar questions will be reading. Some might find products they hadn't previously considered interesting.

 

Quote:
"Transparent" is, like everything in audio, a subjective term

 

Well no. It isn't. Transparent means you cannot tell it's there. It's objective. You can test it.

 

I did with the MOTU wjen I first got it. Play a record direct, Play the same source after A/D and then D/A conversion. Which was which? No one I know could tell. Very surprising. Also annoying. Why not?

 

So I looped the output back into the input 4x.  Surely I could hear the difference after 4 iterations of A/D and D/A? Nope. Neither could anyone else.

 

Of course some people are capable of hearing a difference in different brands of cable. So. ymmv.

 

Nothing wrong with supporting and encouraging excellence in engineering design with your own money if you have it. Commendable. On a budget you will get 10x the value spending the same money on speakers, headphones, cartridges and pickups rather than cables, converters or even amps. Spend the big money where the big differences exist.
 

Quote:

 

you've forsaken high-end cans for the HD25 does not add weight to your opinion

 

 

I think you missed my point again. I don't think workaday closed backed cans are better than expensive open backs. Rather that active desktop multimedia monitors make high end cans redundant. If you are in the same room as someone listening on open back cans it's still annoying. If there is just you in a room with small monitors and you close the door it doesn't annoy anyone else. Monitors are loads better than aven the best cans.

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Fair enough. Everyone has different needs and expectations. Wish you the best in your search. 

It's an open forum. Other people with similar questions will be reading. Some might find products they hadn't previously considered interesting.

Thank you and I absolutely agree, I'm sure some who read the thread may very well find such products to be all they need.

Quote:
Well no. It isn't. Transparent means you cannot tell it's there. It's objective. You can test it.

I did with the MOTU wjen I first got it. Play a record direct, Play the same source after A/D and then D/A conversion. Which was which? No one I know could tell. Very surprising. Also annoying. Why not?

So I looped the output back into the input 4x.  Surely I could hear the difference after 4 iterations of A/D and D/A? Nope. Neither could anyone else.

Of course some people are capable of hearing a difference in different brands of cable. So. ymmv.

Well, for one, like I said everyone's ears are physically different, meaning they will perceive different outputs as "neutral." People with HF loss from age or too many concerts tend to prefer brighter sounds, because it makes up for what they've lost. Likewise, everyone's ears and ear canals are shaped differently to amplify or attentuate certain frequencies. So no, there is not one "true neutral." Also, measurements are not everything, partly for the same reason, and partly because there is just so much more to sound than what we can measure. The O2 amp, when properly built, measures perfectly in almost every way, and yet there are some headphones that just don't sound right out of it.
Quote:
Nothing wrong with supporting and encouraging excellence in engineering design with your own money if you have it. Commendable. On a budget you will get 10x the value spending the same money on speakers, headphones, cartridges and pickups rather than cables, converters or even amps. Spend the big money where the big differences exist.



I'm not a believer in cables or anything of the like, so no need to convince me.
 

Quote:
I think you missed my point again. I don't think workaday closed backed cans are better than expensive open backs. Rather that active desktop multimedia monitors make high end cans redundant. If you are in the same room as someone listening on open back cans it's still annoying. If there is just you in a room with small monitors and you close the door it doesn't annoy anyone else. Monitors are loads better than aven the best cans.

*shrug* I really enjoy being able to play music on my HD650s when my girlfriend is home, because I want a more private, isolated experience, and she can be in the other room without hearing my music, and yet if she needs me, I can hear her. Its a nice middle ground and doesn't take up nearly as much space.
post #20 of 26
If something is truely transparent objectively then it must be transparent subjectively within reason. I say within reason to account for peoples brains interpreting the same sound differently because of some wacky subconscious voodoo.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
And what about variations in anatomy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaocaholica View Post

If something is truely transparent objectively then it must be transparent subjectively within reason. I say within reason to account for peoples brains interpreting the same sound differently because of some wacky subconscious voodoo.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

And what about variations in anatomy?

Anatomy shouldn't matter because the sound being created is identical through a perfectly transparent black box.  Your ear canal and ear drum and brain may be totally off but as long as they interpret the same sound the same way all the time, a transparent system should not be detectable.  If your anatomy interprets the same sound differently at different times then you can't really play this game.

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Here's the thing. No matter how the sound is reproduced, everyone's ear canals will change that sound differently. So yes, something that is "objectively transparent" will always sound the same to them, but if a resonance point in their ear canal attentuates lows, then a bassier sound is going to sound "neutral" to them even though its not "objectively neutral." So yes, they should be able to identify what is "objectively neutral" consistently, but that doesn't mean it SOUNDS neutral to their brain at the end of the day
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaocaholica View Post

Anatomy shouldn't matter because the sound being created is identical through a perfectly transparent black box.  Your ear canal and ear drum and brain may be totally off but as long as they interpret the same sound the same way all the time, a transparent system should not be detectable.  If your anatomy interprets the same sound differently at different times then you can't really play this game.
post #24 of 26

The problem here might be the interpretation of 'transparent'.

 

Transparent in this context is usually taken to mean that there are no audible differences between a direct signal and that same signal which has been subject to A/D ad/or D/A conversion. The effects of the conversion process are invisible to the human ear. You cannot tell there has been a conversion done. So it doesn't matter what your ears are shaped like or anything. What anyone hears should always remain  the same to them even if that is different to what someone else hears.

post #25 of 26
Well if your anatomy is, say, attenuating lows then it's going to attenuate those lows for everything you hear including a live performance or playback of that same performance. How would that person know they are missing out on anything if they've never heard it before?

I think you need another term to describe 'transparency' across multiple listeners.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just got my microsteamer playing nice with my Nexus 7, pretty freaking awesome for a tablet rig. I really can't wait for something this size that bests the uS, I will be first ion line as long as its under $300. Really curious to see impressions for the Geek, if anyone gets one they should post a review :-)
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